The Smile

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I talk to friends, family and co-workers about my dating adventures (who doesn’t?). After captivating them with my story-telling abilities, I frequently hear, “You should blog about this!” Trust me, I’ve thought about doing this for a long while – but feel like now is the right time.

But first, a disclaimer. These posts aren’t going to simply be rambles. I’m going to try and share a lesson from everything I’ve encountered – spin the negatives into a positive, or a lesson at least. After all, “The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.” Is that a relevant quote?

I’ve also had the pleasure, or rather mis-pleasure, of living through a time of dating with and without smartphones. I’ve had relationships start from face-to-face meetings and from swiping right, so I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about. Please comment if you disagree. Let me just get on with my most popular tale…

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There was this date I went on that showed me a few things about dating, and even lessons I learned about myself. After matching with, we’ll call her Y, who had some good photos on her dating profile, I went ahead and scheduled a date. Upon picking her up for the date, the one thing that stood out was that Y was a lot larger than she appeared from her pictures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just wasn’t what I was led to believe from Y’s pictures.

I figure there are some people out there that will purposefully put certain pictures up and from certain angles to portray a certain digital identity for themselves. Or purposefully crop their pictures to hide certain elements from onlookers. The curious thing about this, similar to advertising, if you don’t get what you’re led to believe you saw, are you then still expected to purchase what’s advertised? But I learned to move on from that rather quickly…

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Then there was the smile. Readers, if you’re going through the motions of online dating, please, please make sure that person has a smiling photo – showing teeth. I say this not because I expect someone to have perfect pearly whites or the perfect smile, though a nice smile doesn’t hurt, but you also don’t want to be blindsided.

Y’s teeth were shark teeth. There’s no dancing around that… They were pointy and a bit discoloured. She mentioned she was a smoker but I wasn’t sure if it was all because of that. And I’m also asked when I tell this to people if Y mentioned that she shaves her teeth. I didn’t ask her that…

I finished the date respectively, in case you’re wondering. Though there are a few lessons here I should’ve been wise to. Again, there’s nothing I’m judging Y for – she’s still a lovely person. Though there are certain people that may manufacture a reality, or mislead others, into believing they’re getting one thing when they’re in fact getting something else.

The lesson here is to ensure when you’re online dating that you, as the user, have certain criteria met. Does he or she have a smiling photo? Do they post a full-body picture? If not, why not? Then if you probe and ask for certain details, and if they’re dodgey about it, question that too!

In a day and age where we’re hyper-dating and receiving information at a rapid pace, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with stopping and questioning all the facts and information you have at your fingertips. Also, trust your gut. If something feels wrong from what you’re being presented, you’re probably right.

I’ve certainly made more sound judgments from the information I have in front of me while I’ve navigated the online dating world. And I hope you do too.

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